UAID Coalition Found Guilty

Lindsay St. Hill cries movments after the Election Commitee found the UAID coalition guilty of two election code violations. (Zach Becker)

Lindsay St. Hill cries movments after the Election Commitee found the UAID coalition guilty of two election code violations. (Zach Becker)

The current president of the Associated Students of DVC says he will not apologize for endorsing and campaigning for the coalition that swept seven of 10 winners into office last month, despite being ordered to do so by the ASDVC Elections Committee.

 

Bundit Kertbundit told The Inquirer he disagrees with the Committee’s finding that he violated sections of the ASDVC constitution and elections code, that prohibit him, as “an ex officio member of all ASDVC committees,” from making such endorsements.

 

However, he said he would apologize for the Committee’s other unanimous finding-that he violated an elections code section barring non-coalition members from financially aiding a coalition or candidate.

 

“I will definitely apologize for the financial assistance part,” Kertbundit said. “But I will not apologize for the ex officio part.”

 

The UAID coalition (Uniting ASDVC, the Inter Club Council and DVC), headed by President-elect Lindsay St. Hill, was also found in violation of the same rules, since the elections code makes candidates responsible for the actions of their campaign committee, whether authorized or not.

 

“Yes everyone worked hard, but I thought everyone knew that I worked especially hard,” St. Hill told the Committee. “Yes, they are confirmed violations, but they are not what significantly made me win.”

 

In a unanimous vote, the Committee ordered Kertbundit and the UAID slate, as punishment, to write an apology to be approved by Committee chair Anna Braginsky.

 

Braginsky said later the apology will be read aloud to the ASDVC executive board at its end-of-the-year banquet May 15. Although the Committee had suggested publication of the apology in the Inquirer, Braginsky said it would not be ready in time for the newspaper’s press deadlines.

 

After voting against disqualifying UAID and requiring only the public apology, the Committee agreed to bring the idea of a special election to the entire ASDVC board at its next meeting.

 

On Tuesday, the board discussed the idea, with heated debates from both sides, and scheduled a vote at its May 12 meeting.

Directly addressing President-elect St. Hill and Vice President-elect Ben Pradya, defeated presidential candidate Young Jun Jang said, “You have to make sure that students are still supporting you guys, because you violated the elections code.”

 

If the board musters the required two-thirds majority vote on May 12, a special election would be held at the beginning of the fall semester, with all the same candidates on the ballot, including the UAID slate, Braginsky said.

 

The election scandal began last month when the Elections Committee acted in response to formal letters of complaint filed by four defeated executive board candidates, public relations officer-elect I-Ting, and a DVC student unaffiliated with ASDVC.

 

The Committee’s April 30 decision to require public apologies did not sit well with those who wanted President-elect St. Hill and other UAID winners to be disqualified, which most likely would have resulted in a special election, with UAID barred from running.

 

That action – which required a two-thirds majority vote – failed with three members opposed and two abstaining.

 

At the April 30 meeting, Angela U, current ASDVC activities coordinator, said, “As a leader you need to know what is right and what is wrong, and as a leader we would be misleading students [if you do not disqualify them] that this is the right thing to do.”

 

Before the vote, Braginsky made it clear that holding a special election would be difficult, given how little time remains in the semester.

 

But complainant Jang disagreed, saying “We can’t just give in to the time limit just because we don’t have time to make a special election.”

 

At the April 21 ASDVC meeting, Jang had asked only for an apology from Kertbundit and UAID members.

 

But he changed his mind and pleaded with the Committee to void the election after UAID never offered an apology and Kerbundit only apologized for misinterpreting the financial assistance part of the elections code, at the April 28 ASDVC meeting,

 

“We’re just going to give in and not do the right thing?” Jang said. “Then we’re just going to do the same thing in the future.”